ADDRESS BY THE HONOURABLE LADY CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA, JUSTICE GERTRUDE SACKEY TORKORNOO, ON THE OCCASION OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE DISTRICT COURT, MPOHOR, ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2023
My Lords, Judges and Magistrates,
Hon. Member of Parliament for Mpohor – Hon. John Abbam Aboah Sanie
Regional Minister – Hon. Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah
Paramount Chief, Mpohor Traditional Council – Osabarima Kwaw Entsie II
District Chief Executive, Mpohor District Assembly – Hon. Ignatius Asaah Mensah
Distinguished Invited Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to be here with you, in this beautiful town of Mpohor, the administrative capital of Mpohor District in the Western Region, to inaugurate a new District Court for its people and surrounding communities. I thank you all distinguished personalities for joining us to share in this significant occasion. A purpose built court is a most welcome development for any developing community. In recent times, much attention has been brought to the improvement of the national stock of physical infrastructure in which justice is dispensed in this country. It is heart-warming to see the expressions of concern and solidarity that have come from members of the general public who have appreciated this effort to provide befitting facilities not only for the well-being of those who work in these buildings and under these conditions, but for the very concept and delivery of justice itself.
One of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that all nations are tasked to pursue, is access to justice for all citizens. Another Sustainable Development Goal is the building of effective and accountable institutions at all levels. This requires that we commit to the pursuit of justice and equal rights for all and the provision of the physical resources with which to establish this right. Indeed, all the reforms that that Judicial Service of Ghana has embarked on the last twenty years, including the computerization and automation of the courts, find effective implementation in adequate physical infrastructure. The challenge for appropriate infrastructure is especially acute at the district level, where lack of access to justice can lead directly to loss of confidence and reduction in the use of the tools of justice.
Without a doubt, this is a challenge we must address if we are to provide the necessary guarantees of peace, security and investor confidence that our country needs. The Judicial Service of Ghana has to play its part in the growth of the economy.
Law makes three promises – Order, Justice and Peace which brings prosperity. It is for this reason that we are most pleased that the Mpohor District Assembly has taken on this challenge frontally in constructing this District Court to address the justice needs of the people of Mpohor and its environs.
Ladies and gentlemen, the administration of justice cannot be left to lawyers and judges alone. The directions and content of law is so important and so vital to our nation that all citizens must take a keen interest in all matters to do with its administration. If we are to thrive and prosper as a nation, then the law needs to be in known, understood, be applied to all and be policed by all. That all of you are here today is evidence that here in Mpohor, we are all ready to do our bit for the growth of access to justice in the country.
This building and all that is in it, has only been possible through the immense commitment and sacrifices of the Mpohor District Assembly.
Article 125(1) of the 1992 Constitution directs that “justice emanates from the people and shall be administered by the Judiciary……..” The administration of justice must therefore be brought to the doorsteps of citizens, so that they have recourse to it with the minimum of effort. This is what has happened today in, Mpohor.
Now that the administration of justice has been brought close, I wish to urge all citizens to take advantage of its presence and powers to right wrong and correct offences. As citizens, the law is our most potent avenue for the resolution of conflicts. It is the cornerstone of all modern societies. This is how the peace that we are so proud to have in Ghana can be maintained.
This court we are inaugurating today is part of the nationwide construction of one hundred Courthouses programme embarked upon by Government in 2020 to improve judicial infrastructure. This modern Court facility has adequate office space for the various Court functions, washrooms for Staff and Court Users, Male and Female Cells, Solar power, a standby Generator, a Borehole to provide sustainable water supply for the washroom and electric fencing to boost security. The facility has a dedicated space for Court connected ADR.
With the inauguration of this District Court, it is my expectation that the justice needs of the Mpohor District and its surrounding communities will be served in a robust manner as cases will be disposed of with a greater sense of urgency through the complement of human effort with ICT. The Judicial Service will also ensure that this building and the facilities in it are regularly maintained so they can continue to deliver optimum service to justify the significant investment that has been made by the Mpohor District Assembly.
This newly constructed District Court, will not be of much use if the administrative Staff do not effectively assist the Magistrate to function effectively. To this end, I will urge the Staff who would be working in this Court to exhibit a high level of professionalism in the discharge of their duties.
I would like to remind Staff that most clients who patronize our services are often physically and emotionally stressed. They need assistance with technicalities as they turn to the courts for justice. I urge you to ensure that this court which serves as a first point of contact presents a new and friendlier face of justice in the Mpohor District.
In concluding my address, I would like to place on record once again, our gratitude to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development for the successful implementation of the project and the District Assemblies Common Fund and its Administrator, Mrs. Irene Naa Torshie Addo Lartey, whose drive, enthusiasm and resources have made it possible for us to be here today.
Our gratitude also goes to the Mpohor District Assembly for making land available for the court and to all our other distinguished invited guests for taking time out of their busy schedule to be here with us today.
It is my pleasure at this juncture to declare the District Court, Mpohor duly inaugurated. May this Court be a blessing to all, especially its users and may they find and experience true justice in this court.
I thank you all for your attention.